“Fiji and India share deep and enduring ties”

On his nation’s 50th year of independence H.E. Mr. Yogesh Punja, High Commissioner of Fiji to India, spoke to India Empire magazine’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty on issues ranging from bilateral ties to the Indian diaspora, from diplomatic grouping in the southern Pacific to tourism opportunities ...

Please talk us through Fiji’s tourism potential with India. With more Indians able to travel to global destinations until recently, Fiji, with its unique geography and culture presents an opportunity for greater exploration. Your take on this please.

Fiji has great potentials in the tourism sector to offer to both locals and overseas visitors. When compared to countries like Australia, New Zealand and USA, tourists from India have been relatively low. However, the recent trend illustrates that there has been an increase in numbers from India. With the new Air Service Agreements, Indians are now able to comfortably travel to Fiji with multiple routes. What makes Fiji even more special for the Indian visitors is the language, food and cultural aspects which is common between our two countries. Fiji has dedicated offices of Tourism Fiji and Fiji Airways based in Mumbai which are the destination marketing organizational arms of the Fijian Government agency responsible for marketing Fiji as the ideal destination for leisure travel globally.

Fiji had earlier appointed Ileana D’Cruz (film actress who predominantly appears in Telugu and Hindi films) as the brand ambassador for Fiji for the Indian market. Through her, Fiji has showcased its unique offerings to potential travelers from India and also to create awareness of its diversity, refreshing culture, white sandy beaches, water- based activities, warmth, hospitality and friendly people.

The current marketing strategy is to focus on the Business to Business (B2B) by amplifying the brand ambassador campaign on social media, which would be re-enforcing this message through strategic partnerships, trade integration, influencer engagement, media and brand communication. This would be related to its target audience through a combination of on-ground initiatives, editorial campaigns, events, content programmes and more, besides that the joint coops with the key stakeholders would continue with strategic partnerships with Kesari, Thomas Cook, Veenaworld & OTAs like MakeMyTrip & Yatra.